Great Bentley and Alresford join forces on crime prevention initiative

Two Essex Village of the Year winners have joined forces to fund a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). The officer will work in Alresford and Great Bentley. This is believed to be the first arrangement of its type in Essex.

The initiative was prompted when Essex Police made it clear that it is looking to refocus its PCSO resources away from rural communities to areas of greater need.

Alresford has had a dedicated PCSO for 7 years and became concerned that it would lose this service. PCSO Louise Cox has developed an excellent working relationship with residents and local businesses in Alresford and has made a positive impact on levels of crime in the village. In the UK we are told that it is often the fear of crime that is greater than the actual level of criminal activity in a locality. Alresford Council Chairman Ernie Osborne said the presence of PCSO Cox has contributed in this regard. Local residents have become used to seeing her go about her work in the village and that provides a sense of security.

Great Bentley Parish Council when approached by Alresford Parish Council spent some time investigating the matter. Councillor George Wright Chairman of the Sub Committee formed to look in to this matter said that Great Bentley Councillors were very impressed by PCSO Cox when they interviewed her and I am confident that she will be able to assist to address the issues in Great Bentley and will make a positive contribution to community safety.

The joint agreement is set to run for one year initially when it will be reviewed.